Posts Tagged ‘gardening’

Don’t Have a Garden? Try Shared Earth.

Garden Early Summer 2009
My family garden early summer 2009.

This article is for anyone who doesn’t have a garden, but who wants to enjoy the abundance that a vegetable (or fruit) garden can bring.

Here’s my story. Ever since discovering raw foods, I’ve experienced falling back in love with nature.

So when I spent two summers with my parents (2008 and 2009) I was a happy camper to be able to play in the garden.

Except if you asked my mom I wasn’t playing around. I turned a huge chunk of perfectly manicured lawn into what you see pictured above.

Who wants to spend time mowing when you can spend time weeding, right?

The Fruits of Our Labor

Starting in early summer we harvested some radishes, and had enough greens to support my green smoothie consumption habit into fall.

For the most part we were able to handle the abundance of veggies. We did get a few too many zucchinis, and we passed those onto neighbors and friends.

A coworker of mine once said that you could lose friends by giving them zucchinis. I don’t think he was talking to the right friends though, because I know a lot of witchy raw foodies who would like those zucchinis!

Buying vs. Growing Vegetables

There’s an eternal debate as to whether it is cheaper to grow your own vegetables or buy them at the grocery store or farmer’s market. I think it really depends on your personality.

If for you gardening is a chore that doesn’t stir any joy at all, then maybe buying is better for you.

On the other hand, if you can’t abide all the pesticides and chemicals that are used to grow modern day food, growing your own is a great option.

Then there’s the freshness factor. You cannot compare just-picked string beans with those days-old ones at a store. Similarly, home grown tomatoes just have that special feel to them.

But… what if you don’t have space for a garden? Or on the other hand, what if you have the space but no time?

That’s where Shared Earth comes in

shared-earth

During my SXSW experience, I met a lovely lady who explained to me the concept of Shared Earth.

It goes a little something like this: you find someone in your area that has land for you to grow vegetables on, or you offer your space, then you share the produce. The beauty is that Shared Earth takes the tough part out of the equation by helping you find the right person on their matchmaking for gardens web site.

I was delighted when I heard the concept! It was even more funny because my boyfriend Robin and I are actually doing the same thing with a friend of ours who has a backyard she wants to turn into a garden.

We’re going to make a trip to her home, help her work the earth and get the garden started. Then make a few visits to help her with the upkeep and take a few of those over producing vegetables off her hands.

Shared Earth‘s service is only available in the United States at the moment, and it’s totally free. If you’re outside of the US, ask around – you never know who might want to partner with you.

Check it out and see if there’s someone who might be interested in doing a little earth sharing and veggie sharing with you!

What are your garden plans?

Now is a great time to start thinking about your gardening plans. As the earth thaws out, what are you going to plant? Are you going to do a little crop rotation? Trying any new plant varieties?

Let us know in the comments!

Love, Nathalie

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Let’s Change the World Together: It’s a Freak Revolution

As aspiring raw foodies and health revolutionaries, I think it’s important to surround yourself with like-minded individuals. You’re here already, so you’ve already taken the first step. Woohoo!

Freak Revolution Manifesto

I’ve also noticed that once you start making changes to the way you eat, a lot of other little things start to fall into place. Or out of place. You notice certain things that used to be normal, but that now seem odd or out of place. Maybe it was normal to watch TV for hours while chowing down on a whole bag of chips. But suddenly you realize there’s more to life than that.

That’s one step toward changing the world.

Two people who know a lot about changing the world are my good friends Pace and Kyeli – cofounders of the Freak Revolution.

I had the pleasure of talking to both Kyeli and Pace about the work they’re doing to change the status quo. We had such an awesome conversation that I know will inspire you and give you insights into your own life.

Click here to listen to the recording now.

Since learning about the Freak Revolution, I’ve really been able to return to my true roots. (It even gave me space to make this the Raw Foods Witch, and not just the Raw Food Switch.)

If the idea of changing the world really calls to you, then you will LOVE the Freak Revolution Manifesto. You can download the Freak Revolution Manifesto for free now.

I encourage anyone who is interested in real change for our planet to grab a copy of the Freak Revolution Manifesto and share it with as many people as possible.

It’s a call to arms hearts, and we can do it together.

Love, Nathalie

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Home Garden Makeover & Redesign to Grow Your Own Food

Today I’m sharing a fun video of the transformation that took place in my backyard.

I never really considered myself as having a green thumb, but after going raw and coming home I realized how much fun it can be to grow your own food. Not only does growing a vegetable garden help you reduce the costs and the impact of shipping food for your consumption, but it’s really fun!

Here’s a quick video that shows my backyard and home garden as it gets a makeover.

If you’re reading this via email click here to watch the video.

Home Garden Makeovers

The redesigned garden is really working well for us. Last year’s garden was great, and we harvested a lot of very delicious vegetables.

I know this year we are going to be surpassing our yield, and we are already reaping the benefits with fresh vegetables like spinach, Swiss chard, baby lettuce, and radishes for our salads. Oh, and running out to the garden to grab some spinach is so much more fun than getting in a car and driving to the store when you run out!

Hopefully this video will inspire you to undertake a little bit of gardening of your own. You don’t need to have a big backyard to start a garden, in fact, it’s probably easier to start small and expand year after year.

Enjoy!

Love, Nathalie

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President Obama’s Call for Caring Healthcare and Taking Responsibility

I don’t write a lot of political posts here, but this speech made by President Obama to the American Medical Association was just too good to pass up.

President Obama is calling for a health care reform, but it goes much deeper than that. This quote really brings home a crucial aspect of a healthy nation, and a healthy people.

“It also means cutting down on all the junk food that is fueling an epidemic of obesity, putting far too many Americans, young and old, at greater risk of costly, chronic conditions.

That’s a lesson Michelle and I have tried to instill in our daughters with the White House vegetable garden that Michelle planted.

And that’s a lesson that we should work with local school districts to incorporate into their school lunch programs.”

I think we should definitely work with local school districts to incorporate healthy diet changes, but also look to office cafeterias, hospitals, prisons, and other semi-public places.

This is a time for change, and we’re in this together. Let’s brainstorm some ways that we can implement these changes into our own homes and neighborhoods.

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9 Ways Raw Food Changed My Life

There are a lot of common reasons for going raw. To lose weight, solve a digestive problem, or heal your relationship with food. But here’s a list of 9 things that resulted from adding more raw food into my diet, in a question and answer format.

1. How to Try New Fruits and Vegetables? Eat More Raw Food.

One of the interesting things that happened after I started eating more raw food, is that I started to try different things at the supermarket. I tried all kinds of new vegetables and fruits that I had never even heard of before. Some of my new favorites include durian, mangosteen, and persimmons.

I also rediscovered some of my old favorite fruits like strawberries and raspberries. I used to pick raspberries from my grandmother’s raspberry patch when I was a kid, and going raw really rekindled those good memories.

return-to-raw-food
Photo by The Futuristics

2. How to Get Started Gardening? Eat More Raw Food.

I was never much of a gardener, but after going raw I realized that we are much more connected to nature and we think we are. Starting a garden was a revelation for me. I discovered how the earth we walk on every day is responsible for the food we eat. (Yes, even meat!)

Now I just love going through the garden and figuring out all kinds of tricks to get better results. Weeding the garden isn’t as fun as planting or harvesting, but it’s definitely a fun and enjoyable activity for me.

3. Want to Try Alternative Medicine? Eat More Raw Food.

At the same time that I decided to go raw, I also decided to explore the world of alternative medicine. Not so much by choice as by circumstance. With the magic of Traditional Chinese Medicine, I was able to heal a lot of my internal imbalances naturally.

Chinese Medicine also places a lot of importance on the foods we eat as medicine themselves. Just like Hippocrates did, saying “Let Food Be Thy Medicine.”

4. How to Reduce Acne? Eat More Raw Food.

I’ve had acne since I was 10 or 11 years old. My parents and I thought it was just my hormones, and so I went on the birth control pill when I was young.

Back when I was a kid, my vegetarian martial arts instructor, used to tell me that food was causing my acne. Of course I didn’t want to believe it, so I continued to ignore this advice. Now that I’ve been raw, and the longer I stay raw, the clearer my skin looks.

5. How to Take Back Your Kitchen? Eat More Raw Food.

Before going raw I knew very little about cooking or preparing food for myself. I ate at a cafeteria in high school and University. I didn’t know how to feed myself so I resorted to lots of packaged and pre-made “foods”.

Going raw really taught me about nutrition and how to make food for myself, and for others. That’s really made a big difference for me, because I don’t have to look in the fridge and cupboards and wonder what you eat.

Delicious Raw Tomatoes
Photo by Sporkist

6. How to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint? Eat More Raw Food.

Everything we do has an impact, and right now everyone is even more aware of the impact that their food choices are having on the planet. I learned that for 1 person eating a piece of steak, there are 49 people eating out of an empty bowl. If you don’t have steak, all 50 people could have grain in their bowls, including you.

Meat has many more hidden “side effects” than we like to think about when we’re having a nice dinner. All of these hidden steps cause so much environmental waste. It’s not time to waste, instead let’s be very efficient in our environmental choices right now.

7. How to Improve Your Grades? Eat More Raw Food.

I went raw during University, and I truly believe that raw food helped me get better grades. I was able to concentrate better in class, and to prepare meals quickly for myself. Starting my day off on the right foot and focusing really helped me to learn better, and I definitely got better grades after I went raw.

8. How to Make Doing Dishes Less Boring? Eat More Raw Food.

With raw food there are no greasy pans. Yes, if I want to make something complex I might need to use a bunch of different ingredients and appliances. But overall, there’s a lot less greasy pan scrubbing, and a lot more going outside to enjoy the sunshine happening for me.

9. How to Increase Your Self Confidence? Eat More Raw Food.

Now that I’ve educated myself about what’s healthy and what’s not, I feel that I have more control and understanding of what is going into my body. I no longer have to look at so-called experts to figure out what it is to eat.

Whether meat is good or meat is bad, or carbs are good and then carbs are bad. It doesn’t matter to me anymore. I make my own choices, and I listen to my body to find out if I need to make any changes to my diet.

What About You?

What has raw done for you? Anyone can answer, whether you’re just starting out on raw food are not. I want to find out about your experiences, because we’re all in this together.

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